Trains in Tokyo

How to take a train in Tokyo

Purchase a ticket from an automatic ticket machine at a station and insert the ticket into the automatic ticket-gate (the same steps apply when you get off the train ).
※Most stations in Tokyo use automatic ticket-gates.

◆Sign of ticket‐vending machine◆

If you have a ticket which you can not insert into the ticket-gate, like some of the free passes, you should show it to the train agent at the ticket gates and go through the ticket gates.

※IC cards (Suica for JR railway lines and PASMO for non JR railway lines. A deposit is required for both. ) and common free passes, which can be used with multiple railway companies, are also available.

●Trains become very crowded due to commuting rush from 7:00AM through 9:00AM on weekdays. It can be very difficult to carry large baggage on a train during rush hour.

●The majority of trains in Tokyo run until around midnight. The last trains on some lines will be very crowded just like trains during the morning rush hour.

sign of lines
◆Sign of lines and station facilities◆

●Each subway line uses a specific color to recognize it by. These same colors are used on signs at each station so you can use them as a reference to switch trains. (e.g: Toei Mita line - Blue; Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line - Gray)
Remembering logos for each railway company, like these shown below, will also be helpful.

Tokyo Metro Toei Subway JR

●Each station has a unique station number.
Station numbers consist of a letter representing the subway line and a number for the station

line guide

From the top, Station number, travel time from this station, station name and transfer guide.

◆Line Guide◆

Railway Companies


Railway lines all across Japan that were owned by the former Japanese National Railways, were divided into regional JR companies.

Tokyo area is covered by the East Japan Railway Company, and a wide railway network centered around Tokyo Station.
This network includes short-distance lines, such as the Yamanote and Chuo lines which connect most of Tokyo’s major stations; middle-distance lines to Yokohama and Tohoku areas and the Narita Express; and long-distance lines, such as the Tohoku Shinkansen and the Joetsu Shinkansen.

The Tokaido Shinkansen between Tokyo and Nagoya/Osaka is a line operated by the Central Japan Railway Company.

Subway:Tokyo Metro Toei Subway

the entrance of subway Tokyo Metro and Toei Subway operate a lot of subway lines, offering not only short-distance transportation in the civic center but also middle-distance transportation from the civic center to suburban areas.
This is achieved by combining these subway lines with lines operated by private railway companies.

Although common free passes can be used with subway companies and various private railway companies, tickets are usually required for each railway company.
◆The Entrance of Subway◆

●Major Private Railway Companies
Tokyu Corporation

Mostly offers lines connecting central Tokyo with western Tokyo and Kanagawa, such as the Toyoko line (Shibuya to Yokohama) and the Denentoshi line.

Keio Corporation

Mostly offers lines running from Shinjuku to Hachioji, as well as lines that connect central Tokyo with western Tokyo, such as the Inokashira Line (Shibuya to Kichijoji).

Odakyu Electric Railway

Major lines running from Shinjuku to Odawara, which are convenient to access the Tokyo and Hakone areas.

Tobu Railway

Mostly offers middle-distance lines connecting northern Tokyo with Saitama, Tochigi and Gunma, such as the Tojo line (Ikebukuro to Kawagoe, Yorii); the Isezaki/Nikko lines (Asakusa to Isezaki and Tobu Nikko).

Seibu Railway

Offers middle-distance lines connecting northern Tokyo with the western part of Tokyo and Saitama, such as the Seibu Shinjuku line and the Ikebukuro line.

Keisei Electric Railway

Offers short and middle-distance lines around eastern Tokyo, such as the Keisei Main Line (Ueno to Narita Airport).

Tokyo Monorail

One of the group companies of East Japan Railway Company. This line connects Hamamatsucho Station (Yamanote Line) with Haneda Airport.


Yurikamome runs from Shimbashi to the Ariake/Odaiba Tokyo Water Front City area. The Yurikamome line is automated and unmanned.

Rinkai Line

The Rinkai line runs from Osaki to Shin Kiba and offers convenient access to Odaiba.

Detailed train route map in central Tokyo

The rough map and train route map, please see “Search by Map”.

Detailed train route map in central Tokyo, click to see pdf file(about 1.5M),
or right-click to download.
You can also see train route maps in each web site of the above-mentioned railway companies.

Information relating to Tokyo tourist events

●For further information about events, Please see Tokyo Convention & Visitors Bureau Website.

Hotel classification

City hotels

Mid- to large-scale hotels located in the city center.
They are equipped with facilities besides guest rooms (wedding halls, swimming pools, and gymnasiums etc), and can also be used for events such as international conferences.

Resort hotels

Includes hotels located in resort areas (coastal and highland areas, etc.); big city waterfront areas; and hotels adjacent to theme parks.
Many operate similarly to city hotels, and can be used for overnight stays or various types of events.

Business hotels

Relatively small-scale, low-charge hotels located in city centers.
They mainly target business customers, providing a stripped-down service used only for overnight stays.
Some allow customers to upgrade to services on a par with city hotels, but without the large-scale facilities.

Ryokan (Japanese-style inn)

Accommodation possessing Japanese-style guest rooms, a common bathing area, hot spring, and open-air baths.